Thursday, July 31, 2008

Life Reflections and Destinations

My daughter sent me an email Tuesday. She quoted something out of the book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson.
Today, I just want you to read it. My husband posted it on his blog also. If you haven't read this quote, please do so and let it sink deep into your spirit.
Lion Chasers' Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
Grab life by the mane.
Set God-sized goals.
Pursue God-ordained passions.
Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.
Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.
Stop playing it safe and start taking risks.
Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences.
Enjoy the journey.
Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.
Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.
Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God.
Burn sinful bridges.
Blaze a new trail.
Criticize by creating.
Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks.
Don't try to be who you're not.
Be yourself.
Laugh at yourself.
Quit holding out.
Quit holding back.
Quit running away.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Today I went to a funeral. My grandmother's sister passed away.
I miss my grandmother.

After the funeral I saw pictures of my mom when she was Mack's age. I looked at pictures of my grandmother when she was Glenda's age. Mackenzie looks just like my mom and grandmother. Amazing.

Life in four generations. Life passes so quickly.

We forget that life is not about the here and now, it is about the hereafter- where my grandmother and great aunt are now.

Life is about getting ready for eternity~ eternity with Jesus.

I read an email where a baby was born yesterday~ a sweet baby boy about to experience the warmth and love of his earthly parents and grandparents.

If Jesus tarries, in 70 or 80 years this baby will begin his eternity with or without Jesus.

Life passes so quickly. This life is about preparing for eternity.

What preparations have you made?
Will you spend eternity with or without Jesus?

It passes so quickly.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Prayer for You

My favorite book of the Bible is the Psalms. I want to share a powerful prayer with you and for you straight from God's Word, our sword.

Psalm 20

May the Lord answer you when you are in dsitress;
May the Name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.
May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up
our banners in the Name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He answers him from His holy heaven with the saving power of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
O, Lord, save the king! Answer us when we call!
Dear God in Heaven,
I pray this psalm for all of my brothers and sisters in the Lord who happen upon this blog today. May you hear their heart's cry and minister to the needs of their soul.
I ask provision for those who have need.
I ask health for those who are ill.
I ask peace for those who confused.
I ask rest for the weary.
We trust in You alone, O God, the savior of our souls.
With all thanks and glory to You we pray in the Blessed Name of Jesus,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blessings taken for Granted

I am home!!!!

How wonderful! How comfortable! and How precious!

I love my bed, my house, my dog, my bed, my couch, my kitchen, my bed... and the list goes on.

I have enjoyed my travels, missions, and vacations - but oh, how I love where I live.

My 9 year old got home and hopped on her bike the other day. My mind immediately went back to Ecuador. (Again, I wish I could post some pictures... but, my computer is aging..)

Anyway, there were a brother and sister at our work site campground, ages 9 and 10 I think. According to the Barbers, these children had very little. The little boy's birthday was July 12 and all he wanted was a bicycle. Bro. Barber told him to pray about it.

That was all our team needed to hear. We rounded up the money and off we went to purchase not one, but two bicycles. (The trip by itself is a whole other blog.)

When I returned with the bikes, we had brother and sister close their eyes. My husband and son wheeled them in. "Open your eyes!" The little boy's bike was right in front of both of them. They were so excited. Sister didn't see hers. She was jumping up and down for brother. Then when a team member pointed to her bike, she was ecstatic!

They jumped on them. We took pictures. Then I received a hug and kiss from both of them. Then they jumped back on their bikes.

It was pure joy to watch them receive something they would never have gotten otherwise. But my true blessing came a few minutes later.

Everything had settled down and we were headed back to work. I heard a "Senora! Senora!" I turned around and was smothered in the biggest embrace and sweetest kiss ever! "Gracias! Muchos Gracias!" Another kiss and hug.

Tears filled my eyes. There had been "thanks" the first time around surrounded with the excitement and emotion. The second time there was heart felt gratitude that enveloped my heart. Their response was beyond thankful. They truly appreciated the gifts and were enormously grateful.

I received the true gift. It is definitely more blessed to give than to receive.

So, being at home, watching my children ride their bikes, splash in the pool and sleep in their OWN beds in our home are blessings that I too often take for granted.

Thank you God for everything!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Need Glasses for the Hannah Montana 3-D Movie?

Ok. We went to our local Wal-mart to pick up our free 3-D glasses for the Hannah Montanna movie coming on tonight, but lo and behold, they were all out and have been for the past 3 weeks.

I did a quick on-line search and found the simple solution. Haven't tested it out yet, but right now, I am a hero to my 9 year old.... We shall see!

Get an old jewel cd case with clear plastic.
Take your average household blue and red sharpies.
Measure where your daughter's eyes will be and and draw the circles.
Color one circle red and one blue.

Have your HM fan hold the case up to their face to look thru the red/blue circles and voila! It should be the same effect as if they had the wal-mart glasses.

So, if you tried this, let me know how it works. I am typing this while the rest of my family is looking for the markers. (We will probably have to go back to Wal-Mart to get the sharpies....)

What would we do with out Sam?


It works!!!
A couple of things to keep in mind:
-take off the bottom half of the cd case
-make sure your child only puts the back side to their face- or they will have red and blue circles on their eyes
-squares might work better than circles- and make them way bigger than their eyes.

Have fun!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sunday in Ecuador

Here is my second post of our missions trip to Ecuador. (Sorry, I can't download the pictures just yet...)

Sunday, July 6, 2008
Gloria au Dios! Glory to God!
What an awesome and adventurous day!

Due to the extreme generosity of our team members, Sunday was a free day. They voted on this item before crew #2 arrived so that our five could share the R&R day with them. So they worked all day on Saturday!

Before our evening church service we rode to coastal city of Salinas to go Whale Watching. What an experience! We stepped off of the bus directly onto the sandy sea shore. We were met by several street vendors hoping to pawn their wares off on the Gringos. Dramamine was passed out so that we would not get seasick.

After a few minutes we waded into the ocean to get on our next mode of transportation- a small boat that could seat about 30. Life jackets were passed out and away we went with Pastor Rusty and Sis. Brenda singing the tune to “Gilligan’s Island”. (Not a pleasant thought - a 3 hour tour......hmmmm)

For several of our shipmates, the Dramamine did NOT work. We all had compassion on them but while praying for them, we prayed we did not get sick! I don’t think any of them got to see the whales, nor did they care – nor do they ever care to board a sea going vessel again!

After about an hour at sea we caught our first real glimpse of this awesome creation of our God. Absolutely amazing! If you are reading this as soon as I post, you may not get to see the picture my husband captured. You just have to check back after we get in the states to see his photographic masterpiece! (If you log on to my husband's blog, I think he was able to post the picture there. Just click here.)

I must say that we all enjoyed the whale watching experience, but none of us enjoyed it as much as Margarette Brown. I wish I had a video of her when she would see one of the whales rolling. You would most certainly enjoy the moment with her. :)

After the whale watching once in a lifetime experience, we were bussed to the Mall to eat lunch in the food court. (Hmmmmm…. How do you order without knowing a lick of Spanish except “Si!) Well, for all you moms out there, put this in your pipe and smoke it: Dora the Explorer has helped me more than you will ever know! All of those millions of hours I have spent watching and saying “Backpack Backpack” and “No, Swiper, No!” I was able to go to the local KFC and speak in fluent Spanish, “Numero Uno, por favor.”

Yaaayyy Dorinda!!!! Yes, I am patting myself on the back, because this sister chick took 3 years of French in High School! I graduated from West Memphis High School in the 80’s. My only choices were French and Latin. My high school French is still there somewhere, because I have said to my Ecuadorian friends at least a couple of times, “Je ne sais pas.” Translation- (probably not spelled correctly) – but it means “I don’t understand.”

Anyway….. I hurriedly at my piece of chicken and wonderful french fries (that came with ‘salsa de tomato') so that I could browse around the mall a little before we had to get back on the bus.

I was disappointed. I am a bargain shopper. Remember, I wouldn’t pay more than $12.50 for the Coach purse in China? So, don’t think I was going to pay $24.97 for the cute sandals at Pay-Less. I think the big hit in that mall was the coconut ice cream. Whoever owned that store made a mint Sunday from our team!

From the mall we, as in Rusty and I, parted with our team. They headed back to Ayangue to shower and dress for the 7 pm church service. Rusty and I were taxied to a hotel so we could rest and get cleaned up and dressed for the 5 pm service.

Before I tell you about the service I have to tell you one more “thing”. The service time is at 5 pm. But Sandra, our wonderful guide and interpreter (who is an angel in disguise), told us we did not need to leave the hotel until a little after 5. (Imagine my punctual and ever early husband’s surprise.) She proceeded to explain that in this culture, even if they announce a service begins at a certain time, it will not start until 10 to 15 minutes later. Even then, the people don’t start showing up until 30 minutes later or so.

She was right. We arrived in perfect time for the service and there were very few people there. But as time went by, there was almost a full house. Hmmmmm….. Are you thinking what I am thinking? If you know me, I am sure you are! I would be on time for EVERY service !!!!!! Wow!! I would actually even be early!!! In fact, we arrived about 20 minutes before the pastor and his wife. (I just had to put that in there!!!) :)

The service was beautiful! These people know how to worship our God! I couldn’t understand a word except “gracias Senor”, but I knew that God was in the place. His presence was so real and very precious.

As usual, my husband preached a timely and anointed sermon. The people responded to the altar call with very open and receptive hearts. It was humbling to pray for these precious and sincere people of God. They trust Him with so much and have so little. I wish I could paint a word picture of their smiles.

Have you ever seen someone and immediately, their joy and happiness exploded on their faces the instant they smiled? Their warmth and genuine joy invites you in. You just want to sit and spend time with them for a while. That, my friend, is the beauty of an Ecuadorian smile. And the souls behind those smiles are the reason we have all paid money to fly an ocean away to labor (as in sweat, work, kill your back and work till your fingers bleed, literally) on a campground where young people and men and women will come to a place of spiritual renewal.

Missions. Never underestimate the power of praying, giving, and going!

Good night!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Here are my entries that I couldn't post while in Ecuador. I think it loses a little of its appeal since it is a week later, but, oh, well. This is what I wrote Saturday night:

No one told me how awesome this place is!

Crew number two arrived late last night. I will do my best to describe Ecuador from my eyes. (Please keep in mind that I am typing this on Saturday evening. Who knows when I will get to an internet site to post it.)

I was just about giddy when the pilot announced we had reached Guayaquil. Knowing that my husband was somewhere down there to meet me brought a smile to my lonesome heart.

For us, passport control and customs was a breeze. The least pleasant part was waiting in line while unprepared travelers searched through their carry-on luggage for passports and customs declarations (Oof! :)What were they thinking?!!)

I was trying to absorb the emotions and sights of the moment. Arriving to a different culture is always amazing to me. I like to imagine where all the people are coming from and why they are there. I wonder what “their” story is.

As the last piece of luggage was collected and sent through the scanner, my heart started pounding a little harder. I was in the same building as my soul mate, my best friend, the love of my life. It was as if I was suddenly in a slow motion music video. The music was playing, the noise of the crowds mellowed,and I heard his heart beat.

My feet picked up their pace and my eyes began scanning faces in the crowd. As I walked through the last door, masses of people were staring at me. It seemed that another thousand Ecuadorians were at the airport to catch a glimpse of the face of the ones they loved also.
I kept walking and looking.

And then I saw his face! Smiling, waving- just as glad to see me!

Well, I didn’t run into his arms like in the movies, but I did walk as quickly as my bulky luggage would allow. Then I was in his arms!

Okay….. Sorry, for the ones who don’t like the mushy stuff, but I just had to put that in there, because it was so wonderful to see my husband after 5 days and a continent apart. :)

We gathered our things and headed to the bus where missionary Phil Barber and Brett Madison were waiting.
I was surprised at the pleasantness of the weather. It was very comfortable and breezy- just right- not to cold and not humid or warm.

I tried to take in the sights of Guyaquil on the short ride to our hotel.

Crazy drivers.
People everywhere waiting on buses and taxis.
Many, many happy faces.

The Ecuadorian people, I have found, are very pleasant and kind, happy and content, and a they are very beautiful people. We spent the night in Guayaquil because the three hour trip would not be safe due to “road bandits” that thrive in the darkness. (Yikes!.. I was very happy to spend the night in Guayaquil! - Did they just tell us that or is that true?)

This morning after a quick breakfast we walked a block or two to the iguana park. I don’t believe that is the actual name, but I think we Americans have named it that because of ALL the iguanas there. Oh my goodness. If you don’t like lizards, don’t go there! And the squirrels looked like some mutated, genetic deviant of squirrels , bats, and cats. Can you say “Yikes!”?

Ayangue was three hours away? Maybe just two- it felt like three. There is something about airports and hospitals that just wear a soul to a frazzle. But sleep was not to be found on the small (extremely small) minivan that transported us from the large city to the sleepy coastal city of Ayangue. (But in comparison to what I would be riding back and forth to the work site, it was a luxury vehicle!)

Sights on the way:
Bamboo houses on stilts
Happy people
Speed bumps
Saturday communal gatherings
Poverty- but with a peaceful contentment
Speed bumps
Dirty and dusty yards and streets
Pot holes
Peaceful country side
Dry countryside (It is their winter here)
Did I mention the thousands upon thousands of stray dogs?

We arrived at the work site first. Time for reunion number two!
“Jordan! Jordan!” -
Every one understood the anxiousness in this momma’s voice. They just smiled and pointed to a room. I walked in and once again, my heart leaped out of my soul. But this was different. This time the site of my 15 year old son working as hard as any man on the trip made my heart leap with a mix of pain and pride. The last time I saw him he was a boy. In just five short days he became a man, earning the respect of his team members by his hard work and good manners.
I think he was a little glad to see his mom, too.

After a quick trip to our real hotel, we were back at the work site and put to work by the “task master” Dan. It always amazes me how quickly everyone finds their place and niche on these MAPS trips.

I will blog more about the work we are doing tomorrow.
Ecuador is beautiful!
Good night!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Mission Statement for Blogging

Here is my post for the Blog Mission Tour started by Becoming Me.

I love this idea! In my ministry position I encourage, and respectfully insist, that every ministry leader and team develop a Mission Statement for their calling. I guess I almost had a mini-mission statement in my purpose block.

It says:
This blog was created with the hopes of helping women discover the treasures within themselves and God's Word.

~and at the bottom of my blog (underneath the picture of the Bible):
The foundation of all said and written is God's Infallible Word.

My objective in blogging is found in 2 Corinthians 4:7.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

My target audience are the ones mentioned in 2 Corinthians 4:8.
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

My Prayer for this blog is also posted on the blog:
Seek His Face.
Pursue an intimate relationship with the Savior.
Know His Truth.
Gain ultimate reality about His Kingdom.
Love His Word.
Desire passionate revelation of His Nature.
Live His Will.
Submit daily to His Purpose.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ayangue, Ecuador

Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Hi everyone! Everyone is doing well and working hard in Ayangue, Ecuador!

I have two pages written for this blog post. I carefully saved it to a jump drive and rode in the work van down to the internet spot in Ayangue. But, alas, we are in South America where all of the word processing programs are in the beautiful Spanish language and are not microsoft 2007 compatible.

All of my hard work painfully writing my descriptions of this beautiful country translated to a bunch of squares and rectangles on the screen in front of me. :(

I promise I will post it when we get back in the states if not sooner.

I just wanted everyone to know that this team is working hard and everyone is well! The only bouts of sickness have been sea sickness on our whale watching tour Sunday. Other than that this trip has been almost perfect!

Much love to you all. Please keep us in your prayers. We want to finish the jobs we were given by the time we close up shop tomorrow.

Hopefully there will be pictures at least in this post.

Love you all!

Pastor Rusty, Dorinda
and the hardworking MAPS team of WM First Assembly of God

Okay, the pictures posted, but don´t let them fool you. We are working our tushies off! These are just pictures of the gorgeous scenery from our hotel. The other 2 photos are of the service in Salinas or La Libertad <(sp?).

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Gringos in Ecuador

Well, I keep hearing all of these tidbits of stories from South America. I will just have to sort it all out when I get there Friday night. :)

It seems, a couple of guys were stopped in town - and they didn't have their passports on them. Bro. Phil came to their rescue.

Everyone is doing well and working hard. Some of the team are laying tile, some are working on bunkbeds, and some are cleaning up before and after the ones laying tile and making bunkbeds. :)

Tonight as I spoke with Rusty, the Ecuadorian "superbowl" is on tv and some of the guys are in the lobby watching it. Sandra happens to be a huge fan of the soccer team and according to Rusty, her "fan-ism" rivals his "hog-ism"! hmmmmmmm............ She must be SOME soccer fan!

Foggers have been placed in all of the rooms to hopefully get rid of the pesky little black bugs that are there. Will somebody pleeeeeeease pray that those foggers work by Friday! If I asked once, I asked several times, "Is it head lice?" The answer was a constant "no".

Well, wouldn't you want to know?

Keep them all in your prayers.
More news as soon as I get it!

blessings and prayers!

Ecuador MAPS Team

Work day #1 was a great success. The weather was perfect and the ground work started for all of the team's projects.

I believe I speak for the entire team when I say that their hearts were greatly saddened when they received the news of the "home going" of Sis. Bettye Sue Baratti. Our MAPS team worked today knowing that she is in a better place, but also realizing she will be greatly missed by her family and host of friends. The entire crew sends their condolences and deepest sympathies to her family.

The project of our MAPS team this year is to help with construction work on the campgrounds in Ayangue, Ecuador. Pastor Rusty is working hard to get some pictures emailed to us soon. (We take simple things like dsl internet connections for granted.) I know they worked today laying some tile and I think - not certain- that the bunkbed project was started.

Everyone has been in good health and good spirits. I heard from a little birdie that the ping pong games have resumed. It seems everyone wants to de-throne Sandra from her ranking as "the best". :) (You know they have to have some kind of fun on these hard working trips!)

Please, please keep these team members in your prayers. Tomorrow, I hope to have listed all the team members and some specific prayer points.

Again, please continue to remember the Baratti family also.

blessings and prayers!